Using Minumum Viable Product to get your website right

Using Minumum Viable Product to get your website right

Members want digital. That’s not news. Hundreds of research projects identify mobile-first consumer preferences. And not just for millennials. Importantly there is a growing expectation that credit unions will do more. Members want help to achieve their financial goals.

Do you know exactly how members want to interact with your credit union? Almost certainly not.

Your new website is going to be forever held back if you want it to be perfect. Without deploying your site you cannot learn from real user experiences.

Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) enables you to reach your members sooner. And in a way that meets their needs. It helps you understand unmet need and design functionality accordingly. It’s an early version of your product that has just sufficient functionality to generate enough feedback from members. Such an approach saves money and improves member experience.

Applying MVP

In the diagram above the end state is the shiny car at number 5. You probably think you know what colour, speed and features the car needs. But the whole picture is hard to predict.

Take the skateboard at number 1. That could be a brochure website and a telephone. It still works. And you can learn about member wants and needs by speaking to them on their mobiles.

But who has time to chat on the phone? There are enough inbound calls already. The scooter might be a web front end with member chat. Test out different chat software. See whether members use mobile or desktop. When do they prefer to talk? Gather FAQs. Can responses be automated?

By the pushbike stage, you’ve got a better idea of who’s online. Online loan applications look like a logical next step. But before automating decisions, consider the rejection rate. Maybe limit automation at first. You could end up spending money on credit bureau data for failed loan applications. Pre-application qualification validation might help. Are visitors from within the common bond? How will you check that?

Build to fail

If you build your motorbike or car too early, services might not be geared towards your users. Utility must drive functionality. Poor user experience increases bounce rates. Spending £1,000s on driving people to your website is a waste of money if visitors disappear in seconds. That is illustrated in the ‘not like this’ part of the diagram.
Wasted time and effort developing something that large numbers of people don’t need is a sure way to build the wrong kind of car.
And there’s nothing like running real people through the website and into your core system. No amount of testing will be as good as real members. A dry run with staff is an option. But volume and variety improve testing. MVP helps you achieve test goals and design good user experience.
Applying MVP to wider platform migration helps avoid mistakes. Rushing to build the car is risky. It increases complexity and risk. Next time we’ll take a look at pitfalls in platform migration and learn how to avoid mistakes. Subscribe for more.